LAS CRUCES, N.M. (Aug. 15) - New Mexico State women's tennis head coach Ivan Fernandez announced the team's 2012-13 schedule Wednesday, featuring a home slate that includes the fall Aggie Invitational and seven home dual matches in 2013.
The Aggie Invitational kicks off the NM State fall schedule beginning Friday, Sept. 14. The three-day NM State tourney is expected to feature players from rivals New Mexico and UTEP as well as Northern Arizona and a couple of top-ranked Division II teams.
"I am really looking forward to seeing the team in action for our Aggie Invitational on the weekend of September 14-16," said Fernandez. "I am very excited about this upcoming season with five returners and three new freshmen. The team should be one of strongest we have had in the last few years."
New Mexico State travels to California to close out September at the San Diego State Fall Classic. The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) All-American Championships take center stage in Los Angeles beginning Sept. 29 running through Oct. 7. The fall slate concludes with the ITA Mountain Regional Championship held in Las Vegas, Oct. 10-14.
The Crimson and White return to Las Vegas to begin the 2013 spring regular-season schedule. The squad will battle host UNLV, Weber State and Pacific in non-league contests Feb. 8-10. The same four schools opened the 2012 season against each other in Las Vegas. UNLV finished last season at No. 52 in the final ITA rankings.
Two weeks later, the Aggies will pay a visit to three Big West Conference opponents in southern California. NM State travels to Cal State Fullerton, UC Irvine and Cal State Northridge over three consecutive days, Feb. 22-24. UCI finished 2012 at No. 68 in the final ITA rankings.
NM State starts March with a five-match home stand. The Aggies' home opener is slated for March 1 against Colorado State before hosting Northern Arizona the following day. A week later the team hosts Division II foes Western New Mexico and Tarleton State. Rival UTEP invades the Mesilla Valley on March 15 during the week prior to the start of Western Athletic Conference (WAC) play.
All nine of the other WAC schools that sponsor women's tennis appear on the Aggies' schedule in March and April leading up to the conference championship tournament hosted by Denver University in late April.
NM State will battle four league opponents over five days in San Jose. The Aggies face host San Jose State on March 20. NM State takes on three WAC foes over three consecutive days in northern California facing Texas State, Louisiana Tech and Seattle March 22-24.
The annual Rio Grande Rivalry returns to Albuquerque on March 30. The rival Lobos will be the Aggies' final non-conference opponent of the season. NM State has won the last three matches in the series after a 5-2 win last spring on Senior Day in Las Cruces.
New Mexico State resumes WAC play in San Antonio in early April. The Aggies take on UT Arlington, Idaho and host UTSA over three straight days Apr. 5-7. NM State closes the season with a pair of league matches.
The Aggies host Utah State on Apr. 12 before facing Denver at home on Apr. 14 to celebrate seniors Ginet Pinero and Jodie Williams on Senior Day.
"Pinero and Williams will lead the team this year with a solid core of returners," Fernandez said. "They will help our three new freshmen make a smooth transition into collegiate competition.
"Lisa Roslanova from Russia will be a very solid addition to the team. Mia Brandt of Norway was one of the top five juniors in her country for singles. Ash Shrivastava comes in with the most experience having a career-high Women's Tennis Association (WTA) singles ranking of No. 654 in the world. This should make for a great combination of youth and experience."
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